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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5 Do-To's for Today

Now that we're done with the rigid school schedule and errands on the off days and feeling like we're always on the go, I'm feeling really free!  It's nice!  I've got a morning routine I'm trying to follow with the kids-- wake-up/laundry in, breakfast/morning devotion w kids, get dressed/make beds, chore wheel, play inside or outside 1 hr while Carter naps, ~10a.m. do an activity or school lesson for the remainder of Carter's nap.  Then the rest of the day is free for whatever summertime fun we want to do!  

During that hour of kids playing in the morning I'm trying to hard to get the house CLEANED.  Be more thorough in my tidying and wiping down and putting away!  That's something I know Kevin really appreciates so I'm trying to get better with it!

So for today here are the 5 things I'm going to try to tackle:

1. Clean off living room hutch.
2. Get bathroom travel bag all put away.
3. Dust dressers (Eli's chore is to dust something so I want to get my room ready because it NEEDS it most!!!)
4. Put books packed away into a box (that we're going to bring for Grandma's house because our shelves are FULL).
5. Get Eli's clothes bin out and pack away a stack of his old clothes I've had sitting out.

Maybe I'll post some before and after's.  Or not.  We'll see.  Happy Tuesday, everyone!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

While I was gone...

...I was so busy living life and enjoying our time at the beach and being with family that I didn't even miss being online all the time and blogging and reading blogs.  And it made me think....

How can I live my life so fully in our time at HOME that I don't even miss being online??


Friday, May 27, 2011

Photography: Claire, 6 months

Since it's my beautiful sister-in-law Holly's birthday today and I just took Claire's 6-month pics yesterday while helping build their picnic table, I thought I'd make it a priority to get through the pictures so she could see them today, before attempting to tackle the hundreds of beach pics!  Claire's a beauty with such a happy and content personality, and I can't believe she's almost 6 months already!!  Seems like just yesterday I was taking her newborn pics! We love you so much, Claire!!

I'm back...

We're back from vacation.  It was a great trip! And now I'm trying to get caught back up.  House tidied up, laundry washed, and food in the fridge.  As well as trying to get back to my workout routine n such.  I'll be back soon with loads of things to share....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

- 2 lbs this week!! 
Total -7 lbs!!
  I'm getting excited about all this!

And I'm coming to enjoy running.  It's exciting to physically see myself shaving minutes (or just seconds) off of my time or to increase distance, and to KNOW I'm improving vs just doing a workout video (I'm not very good at them.)  I'm signing up for my very first 5K here in our tiny town next month.  it's part of their Father's Day chicken BBQ weekend and 1) I'm excited to be involved in something for our town, 2) It'll be fun to participate in something with Kevin since he enjoys these sorts of things, and 3) It gives me another motivation to do all this!  It's pretty flat in our town so that makes me feel a LITTLE better about the fact that I've NEVER run outside ever!  LOL Although I DO hope to run outside at least once before race day.  Ooo, I don't like calling it that--makes me nervous. So I made the major mistake of looking up what time people typically run a 5K in for their first time.  And oh boy.  Many of them run it 10 minutes faster than I do, and I was panicking for much of this week.  Trying to boost my speed on the treadmill but just not being able to go ANY faster than 34 minutes.  But I've decided, based on responses from friends, that my time actually is pretty normal, and I'll run the race anyway, doing the best that I can!

Alright, got this posted and now later today, after Eli's last day of morning preschool, my family and I will be OFF for vacation!!  See y'alls next week!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Meanderings - May 16

Bible Study... Genesis 38 (moving right along)

Memory Verse... 1 Peter 3:3-4
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

Husband Encouragement...
♥Don't get stressed and be flexible about vacation packing and plans.
♥ Tell him if I need him to help with something.
♥ Ask how I can help him.

Train Them Up...
* I have tons of car games for them--excited for some quality time with them along the drive. (no chores or ANYTHING also needing my attention)

Personal Goals...
* Bring a short workout video in case there's opportunity for a quick workout.  
* Run on the beach? 
* Bring healthy snacks for the car
* Seek out the healthy options on restaurant menus.

New Habit of the Month...  {MAY} COMPLETELY clean off couches at end of day.  If it's clothes, I can still sneak into the kids' rooms to put things away, and if it's hanger stuff, I can just lay it on top of their dresser until morning.

MUST Do...
* Pack everything!
* Print driving directions for return trip.
* Get phone numbers for stops.
* Clean stench from fridge. (our Easter eggs had gone bad?  SOMETHING went bad, that's for sure!)
* Get Olivea's photoshoot put on CD.
* Return movie to library.
* Schedule Dr appointment.
* Oil change for car.
* Clean out car
* Get cat food dispenser set up.
* Find extra batteries for trip.
* Wash fold all laundry in prep for packing.
* Find hamper bag for dirty laundry.

Zone(s)... laundry

Menu - Cleaning out before trip.

* We are leaving Wednesday for an all-family vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC!  It'll be a bit of a reunion with all of my mom's side of the family, all staying in a big 7-bedroom beach house!  SO EXCITED!  We'll return the following Wednesday.

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. BEAUTIFUL weather today!  Certainly helps me get motivated to pack and get things ready for our trip!
2. A wonderful report from Eli's teacher today at his parent-teacher conference.  He's done sooo well this year, and they've really enjoyed him as a student.  And I'm so thankful for such a great Christian preschool for him to attend! Excited for Hannah to start next year...
3. Family time again!  We were just having such a good time outside together last night, we didn't care that it was almost 9pm before we finally came in for bedtime!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 33

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankin;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who love on earth--
he who forms the hearts of all, 
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those 
who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us,
O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

- 1.6 lbs this week! 
- 5 lbs TOTAL.
  That's a mini milestone right there!
10 lbs to go!

Last week I didn't do as great with my diet, due to a couple "special" days in which we were at someone else's house.  Graduation party for our friend Mel on Saturday and Mother's Day with the in-laws on Sunday.  But I tried to compensate by doing a simple lunch or simple dinner for the other meal.  Could still do better though, and I'm starting to run out of steam on it.  But I did increase my workouts, so I was running at least 3 miles every day instead of 2.  Last night though I ran my first 4 MILES!!  I never did do the interval running cuz I just didn't like it at all.  And ya know what, if this is still working, then I'm just going to stick with this.  ALTHOUGH, I feel like my arms are a little skinnier, but the muffin is still very much there.  Contemplating what I need to add in for more ab work.  I have a workout called The Ab Diet, it's been so long since I've done that one, I don't even remember what it's like. So I might give it a try, in addition to running. Or I might add in some Shred.  Or just some good ol' crunches.  With the weather being warmer, drinking water has been much easier, so that's something!

T minus 7 days until we leave for the beach!  Pretty sure I'm not going to lose 5 lbs and make my goal in 1 week, but I'm still happy with how things are going!

Photography: Olivea, 3 Years

Quite awhile ago my friend Nikki asked me to take pictures of her daughter Olivea after her turning 3.  Well, that was February!  With the weather having warmed up and everything turning green, now was a perfect time!  Nikki invited us out to their house for the morning while the older kids were in preschool, and I asked if I could just take Olivea outside on my own.  I had no idea they had so many great photo spots around their yard!  We had fun, and Olivea was sooo good for me!!  Some favorites of the day...

this one just makes me laugh

Monday, May 9, 2011

I changed my mind.

Remember how I was maybe going to chop my hair for the summer? (Click here and here to read about that and see the ADORABLE short cuts I fell in love with) Well, I juuuust don't think it would end up looking like I would want it to look.  And then it hit me, if the reason I wanted to cut is because it's too hot to "do" and wear down, maybe I just need to learn new ways how to DO it!  So I literally spent a couple late-night HOURS watching styling videos on-line!  And here's one of my new favorites... (I'm going to call it an "inside out ponytail".)  I can curl a little bit beforehand to give it a pretty look.  Or not and keep it simple.

looks better than just a plain side ponytail

I don't looove this view, BUT I'm not the one who sees it! LOL

Monday Meanderings - May 9

My apologies for getting this posted late in the evening!  I'm not a very good host of this!  Tomorrow's MOPS so I spent my afternoon time getting things set up for that.  So here we go...

Bible Study... Genesis 28 - ?? STILL.  Didn't do ANY reading last week!

Memory Verse... 1 Peter 3:3-4
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Keep couches cleaned off.
♥ Tidy up.
♥ Thank him for AT LEAST one thing daily.
♥ Meals!
♥ Instead of dumping the kids on him as soon as he's off on Thursday, ask how he wants to spend the day.

Train Them Up...
* Reading time with Eli-- we're almost through the vowels, then I think he will just take off because he already knows all other letter sounds and how to blend.  Getting excited to work with him over the summer!
* PLAY with them, READ with them.
* OUTSIDE time as much as possible.
* Add to last week's lapbook.

Personal Goals...
* Stay off FB--I get messages sent to my email so I shouldn't miss anything important.
* Drink more WATER and get to bed EARLIER!! 
* Run 4 miles!
* Read at least 2 chapters in marriage book.

New Habit of the Month...  {MAY} COMPLETELY clean off couches at end of day.  If it's clothes, I can still sneak into the kids' rooms to put things away, and if it's hanger stuff, I can just lay it on top of their dresser until morning.

MUST Do...
* Set up Moppet stuff
* Mail end-of-year questionnaire to Moppet workers
* Mail card to Kevin's mom (we went to visit on Mother's Day and I forgot to give her her card!)
* plant seeds
* Start setting things together for the beach (vacation is NEXT WEEK, I can't believe it!!!)
* Start preparing our car activities (maps and BINGO n such)
* Buy more sunscreen
* Hang curtains in bathroom.  Okay, that's not really a MUST do, but my mom got them finished and they're sitting on the couch waiting to be hung.  Just need to buy a rod.  They're BEAUTIFUL, I'm just anxious to see the new look!!

Zone(s)... living room

Menu -

M - Homemade mini pizzas, mixed berry smoothies
T - spaghetti and meatballs
W - chicken sandwiches

* MOPS meeting tomorrow (last one for the year)!
* Play date/photo shoot Wednesday
* Wednesday night is FINALLY Kevin's last night and he'll be back into regular rotation.  He actually gets 2 WEEKS OFF!!  Due to a schedule change after we already planned vacation he gets time off before and after our trip plus the 4 days he TAKES off for our trip. SO EXCITED for normal life to return!!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Fans. The weather literally went from 40s to mid-90s in less than a week!!  Kevin's been working so we still don't have our AC units put in yet.  What happened to SPRING???!
2. A light at the end of this tunnel!!  Outage is officially almost done!!!
3. MOPS.  Such a great ministry.  Such a great group of women.  Such a blessing. If you're a momma of children younger than Kindergarten, check online, you probably have a MOPS group near you! Wonderful Christ-centered fellowship with other mommas, childcare provided!  =)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On motherhood...

All I ever wanted was to be a mother, but I had NO IDEA it was going to be this hard.  No idea.  That every single part of the day would be a challenge--from going to the bathroom by myself to unloading the dishwasher to cooking a dinner to making a short phone call.  Every part of it takes an insane amount of EFFORT.  The kids are so demanding, and every minute every day there is some sort of "interruption". And oh the tears and the fights and the messes and the anxiety that living in mess creates. And then there's the "big things" like trips to the grocery store and crossing streets, praying your kids don't get lost or run over.  And there's the training of their little hearts that's supposed to go on amidst the demands, fighting, messes, and anxiety. There's such an internal battle about how and who I want to be as a mother and who I really am and how I can possibly change my ways. It's all so much more than I ever thought it would be.


then there's the love. The instant bond you have with your new baby. And the mutual relationship that grows through the years. The excitement as new milestones get accomplished month after month, year after year.  The delight in little things like rainbows, thunderstorms, tractors and diggers, bugs or elephants, balls and boxes.  Spending all day playing outside. And filling our schedules with play dates, museum trips, and painting.  The simplicity and the joy in those treasured moments is truly indescribable. And then above all that is your exploding heart when your children begin to understand and live out the gospel, those moments when you realize and see the true purpose of motherhood and training them up in the Lord so they can one day serve the Lord with their lives.  It's all so much more than I ever thought it would be.

I am blessed. I am thankful. And I pray to God that He helps me see it in the little moments too. Even amidst the demands, fighting, messes, and anxiety.  Children truly are one of life's greatest blessings. And I am thankful to be called MOM.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A jumble of emotions today.

I just dropped Eli off at Kindergarten roundup this morning!  I was so nervous thinking about where to go and whether to pack him lunch or send him with lunch money.  I couldn't find any small cooler lunch boxes here in town, so I sent him with his $2.30 for lunch.  I hope he's not the only one.  I hope they show him where to go.  I hope he doesn't have to know how to open a carton of milk by himself.  But I'm also sooo excited.  So excited to meet some of the kids (and the parents) who will be in his class next year.  His preschool this year didn't have any other kids from our tiny town, sometimes they do but not this year.  I'll go back at 11:30 for a short instructional meeting with the other parents, and I can't wait to see what will be his classroom and hear more from his teacher.  Based on the drop-off she seems wonderful!  And even though Eli was terribly nervous when I left, I know he will do great and make friends easily!

Also today Kevin told me that even though Outage will probably be done this weekend, they've moved him to nights until Wednesday.  *sigh*  I am sooo tired of this.  Beyond belief.  So tired of having folded laundry alll over the couch because there's someone sleeping in my room all day.  And by the afternoon I just don't have the freedom to spend half hour putting away clothes.  Kids are too busy constantly fighting.  And if I bring them upstairs with me then I have to fight with the baby gate for each batch of clothes.  Tired of attending things alone with the kids.  Tired of literally not having enough hands to do the things that need done.  Anyway, just tired of all this. 

But... if I can just hang on a little bit more, then Kevin will have 2 weeks off.  The schedule just works out that way since he had take vacation days in between two of his normal days off.

Today... IS Kevin's 1-day off, so we're going to spend time outside planting our plants in front of our house, and maybe heading to town for a couple additional ones.  

We have food to grill for tonight.  The sun is shining. My big boy is at Kindergarten right now. Friends are coming over to play in a little while. We get to have family time later this afternoon.  And fresh coffee is in the pot waiting for me.  But for now, right this minute... I'm tired.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday

To catch the "sweat" from an icy cold water bottle... Cut off the top of an old tube sock and slide it over your water bottle.  Works so great! And afterward I just store it in the kitchen drawer with all our baggies n such. Easy as that!

For hundreds more little tips from moms that KNOW, click here! Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday Weigh-In

When my friend Angie joined me in the weight-loss challenge, we decided to do our weigh-ins on Wednesdays, so after hiding my scale under the bed for the last couple days, this morning it was time to get it back out and see what it said to me and...

After working out for the last 12 days with only one day of rest, I've lost a grand 1.4 lbs since last week (Mon, Apr 25).  TOTAL weight loss since April 11 is a whopping 3.4 lbs!


That is definitely not any dramatic result, but I have to admit, it IS something.... I've been trying so hard, being very diligent about working out every evening leaving me with very little free time, and watching what I eat making sure I start the day with healthy foods like oatmeal and cutting out fast food and sweets (except for a couple random treats with the fam).  I haven't been as good as I should about drinking water--working on that!!

Last night I found the "weight loss" program on the treadmill and gave it a try, and it was TOUGH.  I found myself leaning on the rails often, and I don't like that.  I'd rather back down and do something WELL than trudge through it sloppily.  But maybe it's what I need? Go for it anyway.  For a week and see if that makes a greater difference in my weight loss, even if I don't like it, maybe alternating it with some relaxed long runs (long runs for me are only 3-3.5 miles).  So that's what I'll try this week, as well as WATER!!  Check back with you next week...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Meanderings - May 2

Bible Study... Genesis 28 - ?? I'm plugging along, slowly but surely!

Memory Verse... 1 Peter 3:3-4
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Keep couches cleaned off.
♥ Tidy up.
♥ Calm with the kids.
♥ Positive attitude.

Train Them Up...
* Reading time with Eli.
* PLAY with them, READ with them.
* OUTSIDE time as much as possible.
* Working on a new lapbook for them.  =)

Personal Goals...
* STOP weighing myself.  Is it like watching a pot boil?? LOL I actually hid the scale under our bed, and I'll only get it out for my weigh-in Wednesday.
* Drink more WATER and get to bed EARLIER!! 
* Create a workout schedule including a long run, speed run, interval runs, and a day off.
* Continue plowing through marriage book and Bible reading.
* Practice French horn. I volunteered to do a special music at church.  Just need to get the music to my pianist.

New Habit of the Month...  {MAY} COMPLETELY clean off couches at end of day.  If it's clothes, I can still sneak into the kids' rooms to put things away, and if it's hanger stuff, I can just lay it on top of their dresser until morning.

MUST Do...
*Mother's Day Sunday
* MOPS newsletter, create and mail postcards, plan and prepare lesson for next week
* plant seeds

Zone(s)... living room

Menu -

chicken chili, regular chili, spaghetti

* MOPS planning meeting Tuesday. last one for the year!
* Lunch date Wednesday.
* Eli has kindergarten roundup Friday morning. So excited for him! And excited to meet some of the other kids that will be in his class because so far we know NO ONE there!
* Supposed to be a shopping day on Saturday with my mom, but now we're not sure if Outage will be done so who knows...

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. MUSIC.  I've been playing my French horn again getting ready for church. And also playing piano and getting out the guitar again and finding new songs online.  Love that. It's such therapy to me.
2.  Watching Eli play and love on his kitty. He's adorable, showing her dandelions and everything.
3. Outage will surely be done soon???  We're all hoping this is the last week, for now!

I know we're not there yet but...

I've been observing and thinking... Elementary (and high school?) sports have games and meets on Sundays.  All the time.  I loved playing sports growing up.  I was never super competitive, and I wasn't awesomely good, just average I'd say, but man, I tried one of the hardest on the team.  Always.  Even practice I took quite seriously.  I loved the unity that comes with being a part of a TEAM and the value  of learning to work together and the joy of victoryIf my kids choose to I want them to also participate in sports.  But on SUNDAYs, a day set aside for worship and family and rest??  Not sure what I think about that... What do you think??

And while I'm talking about sports, enjoy this short film/video about Paynee boys as they form their own football (soccer) team. So neat!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Remember When... {May Day}

When I was little I, along with my neighborhood friends, celebrated May Day.  We'd make little cups filled with popcorn and little sweet treats, leave 'em on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run away, letting it be a surprise to whoever opened the door.

Whatever happened to those days?  Did you celebrate when you were little? Still do that? Can we still do that today or do people just not trust anyone anymore?  Cuz how fun wouldn't it be to just leave a little sweet surprise on someone's doorstep with a note that says "You're a blessing. Have a great day!"or something along that lines!  What do you think??

For all you mamas

For all you proud mamas of those precious babies and on behalf of all unborn children...